Guest Blogger Alisha Wielfaert encourages us to work through the difficulties rather than be stuck in the mud.
This excerpt is from her December 4, 2017 blog post, with her epiphany about her year of travel.
The glowing orange moon rose over the cypress swamp as we drove home with tired limbs, hungry bellies and full hearts after a long day of kayaking. I had almost bowed out of this trip before it even started.
Maia called me on my last trip to DC before I left for Paris and said, “We’re camping at Carolina beach and taking a few of my students to kayak the three sisters swamp to visit some of the oldest cypress trees in the world. Can you join us?”
Maia, full of energy and excitement, just isn’t someone you tell “no” even though I knew saying yes meant two days away from home after only 3 nights in my own bed. That’s how I found myself in a swamp in the middle of nowhere, NC somewhere near the coast.
Sunlight streaked through the bare trees and flooded over us, floating on the water with two adventurous women. I reflected that this time last week I had been in Paris running next to the Seine then eating a bistro dinner.
It’s now December and I’m in a swamp with muddy, soaking wet shoes and socks because I just jumped out of a kayak to see, touch, and feel trees that are over 2500 years old. Older than Jesus.
This self-proclaimed year of travel has been a wild ride. The backs of my eyes sting with tears I’m holding back as I realize that this year of travel adventures has ended.
In addition to a touch of sadness, there is also extreme relief that these adventures are over because I’ve been spread thin more than when I was working a full-time job and running a yoga studio.
Reflecting on this through the cypress swamp I’m suddenly aware of the magnitude of everything I experienced in the last 12 months, and I’m emotional.
I’ve gained so much but also at a cost. I’m spent financially, relationships at home need tending, and I’m ready to give my new business my full attention.
I’m not ready to sum up the year just yet, there’s still too much to process and I need some space between the experience and writing about it.
One of the biggest lessons of the year of the travel has been “too much of a good thing is still too much.”
But if I had followed that lesson I would have said no to this camping trip and I would have got to rest at home, maybe even getting work done, but I never would have got to car camp at the ocean, and connect deeply with these men and women in the absence of many words while floating down a river and visiting 2500-year-old cypress trees in the middle of no-where.
While we were floating on the river, I realized that when you’re on the right path it feels like you’re being pulled and the current will carry you in the right direction. Even if you do nothing you’ll at least be ever so slowly pulled in the right direction.
When you get off the right path you might find that you’ve landed on a sand bar alone and getting back into the current can be really difficult.
When I worked in corporate America, I didn’t feel like I was moving. I was stuck in the mud.
I’ve had to claw and dig my way back to the current, to the right path, and now I feel like I’m being physically pulled in the right direction.
Looking back over this whole year I realize that as soon as I made my mind up to leave what didn’t serve me, I’ve been pulled in the right direction.
Frankly it’s not been a gentle process. It feels like I’ve been pulled through a class 5 rapids over the last 12 months and I’ve been hanging on for dear life trying to keep it together.
But that’s a much better feeling than being stuck in the mud alone.
I’m a leadership, life and creativity coach who specializes in working with women. I do this work because my purpose in life is to use my curiosity, empathy and listening skills to walk as a guide with seekers on paths towards clarity of purpose.
I’m the compass to point you towards your north to ensure you fully step into your own power.
I spent over a decade in corporate America in sales for an insurance company, a great company and a great career, but for someone else.
I went about gathering tools, looking for the map and the compass to find my own north.
I became a certified yoga instructor, taught yoga classes, opened a yoga studio and created a program to teach others how to share the gift of yoga.
Yoga and the trainings I’ve received as a yoga teacher brought me closer to my calling, it gave me the map, but I wasn’t quite there.
After selling the yoga studio, I started leadership, life and creativity coaching.
For the first time in my life, I knew I could stop searching. I had my compass. This was the work I’d been put on this earth to do.
I coach individuals and groups, lead workshops to move you north of neutral, speak on topics to help others flourish, and lead retreats all over the world.
This work is my calling and it’s a gift to share it with you.
When we step into our power, we make the world a better place. Let’s shine our lights brightly together!